Barry's Genealogy Diary

This online genealogical diary is hosted by Barry T. Self. It is primarily for information pertaining to the SELF surname, more particularly for descendants of John J. and Lydia Avaline Waters Self, who were married in Union County, GA in 1851. Barry Self is the SELF proclaimed family genealogist and historian, having spent over 20 years researching this Self line. This diary is dedicated to preserving and sharing the findings of his research.

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Location: Madisonville, Tennessee, United States

I am married to a wonderful and sweet wife, Svitlana, who is from Ukraine and we have a beautiful daughter, Lydia Elizabeth. I have worked in the funeral business since 1988 and thoroughly enjoy researching my family roots.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Jeff Tolbert, who is a member of the gospel singing Primitive Quartet, is the husband of Shatonya Morrow, of Sweetwater, TN. Shatonya is the daughter of Benny and Darlene Self Morrow. Her maternal grandparents are James "Doc" Self and Mary Ellen Self. For more information on Jeff and the Primitive Quartet, visit their website at

Monday, September 24, 2007


" The unrecorded life is not worth examining."

Relph Waldo Emerson


If you missed the Self Family Reunion this past Saturday at Camp Tipton, you missed a treat. It was a wonderful time indeed. We celebrated family, great food and warm fellowship. The cooks among us outdid themselves this year. The food (and there was lots of it) was so delicious.I cannot recall when I have enjoyed a reunion more. Of course, I had to miss last year, so it was all the more exciting to me to be able to attend this year. There were a lot of familiar faces present and several new faces. I talked to a few cousins who were attending for the first time.

Our special guests this year were Gerald and Sue Self from Alabama. Gerald and Sue now live in Maryville, Tennessee and it was so nice of them to take time to attend the reunion. I refer to Gerald and his brother David as my "DNA cousins". David Self and I tested our DNA a couple years ago as a part of a genealogy research project. Our DNA matches very closely, scientifically proving that we are related. We must now try to trace our lineages with a paper trail. Hopefully this will be accomplished one day. Whether we accomplish this goal or not, Gerald, David (and Sue) are our cousins. You could not ask for nicer folks. I hope David will be able to attend one of the Maryville reunions in the future. He is currently serving his country in Iraq.

Thanks to everyone who shared information with me this year. I was able to fill in some missing pieces on the family tree. It is difficult to keep up with all the births, deaths, marriages and such when we only get together once a year. I appreciate the cooperation of everyone.

Something occurred to me recently. Most of the cousins who attend the reunion in Maryville descend from John J. Self through his son, Cicero (Rev. C.C.) Self. Hardly anyone attends that descends from John J. Self's other children. I cannot think of any Self cousin, who has attended in years past, that is a descendant of one of Cicero Self's siblings. This is something we need to work on. We have hundreds of Self cousins out there. Many of them live in Monroe County where I do. It would take a large facility to hold us all if we were to meet at once. I would like to see the entire family together just once. An impossible task to expect I suppose, but wouldn't that be a sight ?

Again, it was really nice to see everyone last Saturday. Take care and may God bless the whole family. Keep checking back to the blog every now and then. I try to keep the content fresh.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


The annual Self Family Reunion will be Saturday, September 22, 2007 at Camp Tipton Park in Maryville, Tennessee. We will gather around 4 p.m. for a covered dish meal. Anyone needing directions or more information may call me at 423-420-9253 or email Hope to see all of you there! BARRY